Top Tips for Saving for Your First Home
If you’re looking to start saving for your first home, here are simple, straightforward steps to get you started.
Decide on your budget
Prior to even looking at homes, decide what amount you can comfortably afford. Calculate your total home costs, including mortgage, legal fees and home insurance to give you a starting point on your saving journey.
Get a hand from the Government
Are you eligible for a government grant or scheme? This is also worth checking out before diving in headfirst.
There are several ways in which the government is helping out first-time buyers: the Help to Buy equity loan scheme; the First Home Fund (in Scotland), and through supporting shared ownership. Remember, these schemes vary depending on where in the UK you plan to buy a home, and that each has its own eligibility criteria.
Pay yourself first
If you’re one of those people who wait until the end of the month to see how much money you have left over for your savings account then STOP. This is a pretty detrimental saving method as most of the time you’ll find you have little or no money left over!
If you want to get serious about saving, you need to calculate how much money you can put into your savings. Make it the first thing you do when you receive your salary each month. It might take some getting used to, but once you start putting the money away, you’ll quickly adapt and wonder how you ever did it differently.
Small changes reap big rewards
Implementing small lifestyle changes can really have a huge effect on your savings. For example, those still working throughout the lockdown period may be inclined to buy lunchtime sandwiches and salads from the local corner shop or supermarket. They may be delicious, but don’t be fooled, they eat up a lot of money! We pay a hefty price for convenience, so why not give up buying food when you’re at work for good? Especially those who are preparing to go back to work once the lockdown period is lifted (we can only imagine how much money you’ve saved by making home cooked meals!)
Instead, prepare your breakfasts and lunches at home from scratch – not only will you save money, but you can create your own ultimate lunches with all of your favourite flavours.
Buy in bulk where appropriate
It may sound counter-intuitive to buy your necessities in larger quantities, but in the long run you will be saving money! Buying non-perishable items which you know you will always use such as kitchen roll, dishwasher tablets or hand soap in bulk is cheaper than buying individually as and when needed.
Plus, websites such as Easho offer no minimum orders or membership fees, so there are no hidden costs when stocking up on your essentials.
Rethink those nights on the town
Being honest, have you really missed nights on the town as much as you thought you would have during lockdown?
Long taxi queues, inevitable rounds, ridiculously expensive drinks... going for a night out isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, plus they end up being pretty darn expensive.
If you sat down and calculated how much money you’ve saved during the lockdown period by refraining from your weekly nights out, you’d be shocked!
So when life resumes to some kind of normality, instead of spending your hard-earned cash on lots of nights out, why not occasionally host your own night in at home? Invite your friends over for a socially distanced movie night, game night or dinner party at home. Same great company without having to splash the big bucks!
We hope we’ve given you a little bit of inspiration for easy lifestyle changes you can make to save money – if you’re looking to save for a house, check out our Money Matters page to find out more about how you can turn your dream in to a reality.